In a recent study, Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine’s Department of Psychological Medicine shares that drinking tea regularly may improve brain efficiency. It is revealed that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions, which is associated with healthy cognitive function, as compared to non-tea drinkers.
By looking at brain imaging data of older adults, individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.
“Take the analogy of road traffic as an example - consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads. When a road system is better organised, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses less resources. Similarly, when the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently,” explained Asst Prof Feng.
The results suggests that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation.
Previous studies have also shown that tea intake is beneficial to human health, and the positive effects include mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention. Another study led by Asst Prof Feng in 2017 showed that daily consumption of tea can reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older people by 50 per cent.
Asst Prof Feng and his team plan to examine how tea and its bioactive compounds can affect cognitive decline next.
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